Helvete åpent – Hell Was Open

By Gard Sveen

When police inspector Tommy Bergmann finds a young prostitute seriously hurt in an apartment in Oslo he is thrown back in time to his first days on the force. The girl’s extensive injuries are disturbingly similar to damages done to the victims of a series of murders committed some years ago by a schoolteacher named Anders Rask. But Rask is securely imprisoned in an institution for the criminally insane – he can hardly be the culprit.

When the mother of one of the murdered girls reads about the incident in the papers her tenuous grasp on reality slowly starts to slip. She is sure that her daughter’s old teacher has been innocently convicted – and that she knows who the real killer is. But no matter how certain she is, she cannot breath a word of it to anyone. For doing so would reveal her own secrets from that fateful night in 1988 when her daughter disappeared for ever.

Hell Was Open is the stand alone sequel in the series about police inspector Tommy Bergmann. It is an immensely suspenseful and creepy novel that will take you far into the depths of a madness, be it the victim’s or the perpetrator’s…

First published by Vigmostad & Bjørke, Norway 2015

Denmark, Klim
Finland, Bazar
Germany, Ullstein
Italy, Marsilio
The Netherlands, A.W. Bruna
Poland, Media Rodzina
Slovakia, PreMedia
US, AmazonCrossing

Sublime eeriness from Gard Sveen
He [the author] quickly finds his flow in the story and keeps it throughout. Possible suspects abound without it ever being difficult to keep them apart. Tommy Bermann is a man with somber secrets, someone who gives a gritty realism and an important gravitas to the story. The eerie atmosphere that builds up is reminiscent of the one we’ve met in the Lars Kepler books; we can’t trust anyone, least of all Tommy, the hero who doesn’t even trust himself. […]
The author received the Riverton Award for his debut, but this year’s crime novel is several notches sharper.
Maria Årolilja Rø, Adresseavisen

Congratulations Gard Sveen on yet another amazingly suspenseful crime thriller, I definitely recommend this one!
Tine Sundal, book blog

This is a great crime novel where most of the action takes place out in the “field.” […] the suspense is built gradually and half way though I had serious problems putting it down, and so I finished it in two days.
Anne Lise Johannessen, Barnemix (book blog)

It’s dark as hell even on a bright day. […] The sense of paranoia slows the pace down a bit and creates a very effective atmosphere in the book. I am drawn to the pseudonym Lars Kepler to find something similarly grotesque and scary – Kepler has, not to forget the psychological angle, also moved in the same environment.
Stina Håkensbakken Roland. Oppland Arbeiderblad

Gard Sveen makes sure that there is real momentum in the story, and the novel keeps all of its suspense to the very end.
Geir Vestad, Hamar Arbeidarblad

This novel pulls the reader into humanity’s darkest caverns, into the gates of hell.
Gard Sveen serves up literature that makes the reader follow raptly from the very first sentence… It all builds up to a masterful thriller and Gard Sveen makes a rock solid ending.
He kills it!
Rune Fjellvang, Romerikes Blad

A classic page-turner that will surely appeal to many crime readers
Torbjørn Ekelund, Dagbladet

“Hell Was Open” is a solid piece of work; suspenseful, with a great narrative and a confident use of literary tools.
Sindre Hovdenakk, VG

Said about The Last Pilgrim

A really strong debut
The plot keeps twisting continuously and cultivates the well-motivated elements of surprise.
Pål Gerthard Olsen, Aftenposten

This is a crime novel with drive, which readers will find hard to put down.
Guri Hjeltnes, VG

We seldome see a debut novel that is as nicely composed or well-written as ‘The Last Pilgrim’. /…/ If Sveen can keep the drive up in his following Tommy Bergmann novels we have a lot to be thankful for.
Sven Gjeruldsen, Tvedestrtandsposten

An artwork in chracterbuilding
This book has everything I love about crime. A spectacular mystery that I can’t figure ot until the very end. Solid and believable characters throughout. A “slow-crime plot” where people don’t get killed or dismembered on everyother page. A story with several layers on top of the obvious suspense asset. Great writing where the author dares to be both narrative and descriptive. All of this can be found in ‘The Last Pilgrim’.
‘The Last Pilgrim’ is without a doubt the best piece of craftsmanship I have seen in Norwegian crime in many years. That the book has won two such prestiogious awards is right and proper.
/…/If you just read one single crime novel this year /…/, well then you have to read this one.
Geir Tangen

Everything is suspenseful and well told

Bo Tao Michëlis, Politiken

Gard Sveen’s debut crime novel is a mix between political crime, political thriller and historical-psychological drama, digging deep into the forces that drivs a person to perform extreme actions. /…/‘The Last Pilgrim’ is a thriller par excellence
Lars Ole Sauerberg, JyllandsPosten

‘The Last Pilgrim’ is brilliantly orchestrated, and it delivers an captivating tale of the German occupation and the Norwegian resistance. /…/ This is where the novel really flexes its muscles… Gifted, genre conscious and with something to say.
Morten Hesseldahl, Weekendavisen

I was caught up in the novels suspense, well written and fascinating plot
Per Drustrup, reader

He manages to write vividly and realistically about the life of the many Norwegians who put there lives down in the fight for freedom. In the same way that he manages to tell the story of those who couldn’t go the distance, but acted out of their own personal gain and interests.
Mie Petersen, Kristeligt Dagblad

Never a dull moment in this lovely story that is extremely interesting and beautifully portrayed. A very strong debut by Gard Sveen that has yet to meet its match.
***** Hebban.nl

’The Last Pilgrim’ is a high quality thriller. It might become your ”thriller surprise” of 2015, because it has all the necessary ingredients to become one of the best in the genre.
*****De Thriller.blogspot.nl

Has the best thriller of the year already been written? Unbelivably well by Gard Sveen.

Sveen weaves both plots skillfully through one another and knows how to keep the suspense until the very end.
Leidsch Dagblad

The plot is brilliant and keeps you guessing about how it all fits together to the very end.

If Gard Sveen is able to devise yet another ingenious plot, he will become one of the greats of the thriller world.

Gard Sveen has written himself straight to the top with this story.
De Leestrein

War and restistance brings out the best and the worst in people and Gard Sveen puts it convincingly into words.